Maintenance of Venous Access Devices in Patients With Neutropenia
Neutropenia is a common complication in patients with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy. Because of treatment frequency, potential chemotherapy damage to peripheral veins and tissues, and pain from multiple venipunctures, venous access devices (VADs) often are used in the oncology setting. Although VADs have been used for 30 years, no sufficient scientific data exist to support the best care and maintenance strategies for their use in patients with neutropenia. Understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of VAD-related infections (VAD-RI) and the proper steps to prevent or quickly treat it can decrease the likelihood that patients with neutropenia will have a fatal response. This article describes the differences between VADs, the most common sources of VAD-RI, and the treatment of such infections and suggests nursing interventions to help prevent VAD-RI.